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General Wellness Services

Dr. Toni Pellerin, DVM

Our philosophy, within our veterinary network, at  Plattsburgh Animal Hospital, Peru and Adirondack Veterinary Hospitals is simple: A preventive care regime is the most effective and least expensive means of protecting a pet’s well-being. We recommend annual nose-to-tail wellness checkups, a balanced approach to vaccinations, microchip pet identification, and regular screenings for diseases that afflict pets in their later years. This way we can keep an eye on your pet's health through every stage of life We also believe communication is an essential part of the way we care for your pet. We believe that partnering with our clients and being as open as possible to questions and concerns are vital to ensuring a lifetime of good health for your pet. Our knowledge and training is of little value unless it is shared with you. It's our goal within our hospital network to help our clients enhance the health and longevity of their companion animals as well as strengthen the bond you share with your pet. Should your pet fall ill or be injured, we have a full range of diagnostic, medical and surgical services available. We use state-of-the-art radiographic x-ray equipment including digital x-ray and ultra-sound, a full in-house lab, internal medicine expertise and resources, and a modern surgical suite for soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries. We are proud of the services we offer our clients and their pets and our ability to maintain the health and wellbeing of their companion animals. Please take a look through our services to learn why we believe they are important, and then call us to set up an appointment for your pet.


Care for Your Pet

We offer a wide range of veterinary services at a reasonable cost. In fact, most of the tests we recommend and the examinations we do can be done during your dog or cat's regular wellness visit. These examinations are similar to the yearly physical you receive from your doctor. It's a chance for us to assess your pet's overall health, discuss any changes we see, educate and update you on advancements in veterinary care, and for you to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
During your pet's wellness exam, we:

  • Check your pet’s throat, oral cavity, and teeth
  • Inspect the skin and fur
  • Ask questions about your pet’s activities
  • Utilize laboratory testing to detect early signs of Heartworm and Lyme Disease
  • Review any changes in your pet’s body weight, appetite, urination and bowel movements
  • Check your pet’s reflexes
  • Test your pet’s heart and evaluate cardiac function
  • Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine your pet’s respiratory system
  • Check your pet’s vision and eyes
  • Thoroughly check your pet’s ears
  • Palpate muscles and joints for arthritis and other orthopedic conditions
  • Examine and evaluate the function of internal organs
  • Collect and examine fecal samples for possible parasitic infestation
  • Discuss and review preventative techniques with you
  • Discuss when applicable, how to administer medications at home
  • Answer any questions or concerns you, the pet owner might have regarding your pet’s health

Deworming and Fecal Check

Dangerous parasites are always present in the environment. Importantly, if brought into your home, these parasites can be passed from your pet to you and your family. For example, we normally associate parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms with cats and dogs, but people can also be infected with the same parasites. Regular fecal checks and deworming are the best way to prevent parasitic disease and the transmission of intestinal parasites from pets to people. It also prevents the shedding of parasite eggs, which contaminate yards or any place a pet defecates.


Regular Blood Testing

A complete physical with us includes a heartworm test, parasite screening, and a full blood workup. Not only can a full chemistry panel and complete blood count identify the presence of underlying disease processes, but these tests help create a baseline should your pet become ill between routine examinations. Additionally, blood work is necessary should we recommend a dental cleaning, removal of skin masses, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia.
We also recommend comprehensive blood work annually for all pets over the age of eight.


Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are virtually everywhere. Although they're more prevalent in certain parts of the country and at specific times during the year, no cat or dog is completely safe from them. Fortunately, many safe and highly effective products are available. Today, there's no reason why any pet or owner should be bothered by these pests.
Fleas are common because they are reproductive marvels. A single female flea can lay as many as 30 eggs a day and can live and breed on your pet for up to 100 days.
Beyond causing serious discomfort and infesting your home, fleas and ticks carry diseases dangerous to both you and your pet. Fleas can transmit tapeworms, and often you can see segments of the tapeworm in your pet's stool. Your pet can also be allergic to fleas, and even just one flea bite can cause an intense allergic reaction, resulting in a severely painful skin infection. In our region, ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These same ticks can bite people and transmit disease as well. Due to the prevalence of ticks in New York State, we recommend all dogs be vaccinated against Lyme Disease.

Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there are no holistic or natural products available which have been shown to be effective in preventing or killing fleas and ticks. Ask a veterinarian or a staff member at any of our three locations to recommend the flea and tick prevention product which is best suited for your pet.


Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease of dogs and cats. Mosquitoes spread the disease by injecting the parasite into your pet at the time of the bite. After the infected female mosquito bites your pet, the heartworm migrates through the bloodstream and moves to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults within 6-7 months in dogs and 8 months in cats. As many as 30 species of mosquitoes can transmit heartworms. Until the early 1970s, the occurrence of heartworm disease in the United States was primarily confined to the southeastern part of the country. Today, heartworm disease is found almost everywhere in the continental United States. Since heartworm disease is increasing in frequency and is a serious and deadly disease, we recommend that your dog be tested annually. This test is highly accurate, and we often have the results in less than 10 minutes.
If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your pet and your family from these dangerous parasites, please call one of our three locations in either Plattsburgh, Peru or Westport.


    Dr. Joseph Church, DVM and Penny Trombly, LVT         

 Vaccinations

Our core vaccines for dogs include Rabies, DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza), and Lyme; Bordetella (kennel cough) and canine influenza are recommended when a dog boards or socializes with other animals.We recommend all cats be vaccinated for Rabies, FVRCP (feline distemper, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus), and Feline Leukemia for those cats that travel outdoors or are exposed to cats who go in and out. Immunizations are the best tools we have available in our preventive medicine kit. The key to the appropriate use of dog and cat vaccines is to determine which diseases your pet may be at risk for, then vaccinate for those diseases no more than necessary. This balanced approach is the best way to protect your pet from disease and minimize the risk of an adverse reaction to a vaccine.


Puppy and Kitten Care

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is an exciting event for any home. New pets add energy and fun, and are a source of unceasing affection as they bond with you and your family. However, they also require a little extra attention to ensure they get a healthy start at life. Comprehensive physical exams at developmental stages are important. If you're new to having a pet, a little time and veterinarian tested advice on housebreaking and training is needed as well. Your very first visit with our veterinary clinic is the most important. These initial visits are when you, doctor and animal first meet and begin to form the relationship that will last for your pet's lifetime. We like to take our time with these visits to give your puppy or kitten a thorough pet wellness exam, talk with you about concerns you may have, offer health care and training advice, and more.

Your kitten's first visit includes (additional fees may apply): 

  • Diet discussion, including types of food that are best for your kitten's unique requirements.
  • Litter and litter box discussion
  • Behavior discussion
  • Vaccine protocol
  • Micro chipping for cats going outdoors if needed
  • Fecal exam for worms and other intestinal parasites
  • Testing for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems.

Your puppy's first visit includes (additional fees may apply):

  • Diet discussion, including types of food to feed, balancing the diet for clients opting to   feed raw or home-prepared diets, and guidelines on feeding intervals and quantities
  •  Housetraining discussion
  •  Behavior discussion
  •  Spaying and neutering discussion
  •  Formulation of a minimal, individualized vaccine protocol"
  •  Fecal exam for worms and other intestinal parasites
  •  Complete physical exam which includes detection of potential congenital problems and   anything else you may want to discuss. This is your new pet and we're happy to answer any questions.

Senior Pet Care

We recommend that all dogs over 7 and cats over 10 be examined twice yearly to stay ahead of any health concerns. Taking a moment to learn more about the special needs of your senior pet is the first step toward providing the best care for your companion in its later years. We place a special emphasis on senior care and are proud of the special interest we take in geriatric medicine and the care of chronic disease. Older pets begin to go through a gradual reduction of their physical capabilities. This process can be slowed and managed through proper veterinary care that can provide your pet an extended period of vitality and good health. Preventive care tailored to your pet's age, lifestyle, risk factors and other elements can help prevent common diseases or detect them at early and easily treatable stages. There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. You can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior veterinary care, and daily nutrition. With your veterinarian's help, you can manage these factors in order to prolong your pet's good health, vitality, and increase his or her well being, even as his or her pace slows a bit. The best time to begin your pet's senior care program and recognize the need for a little extra TLC is before age related conditions begin to set in. At either our Plattsburgh, Peru or Westport hospitals, we recommend regular senior wellness exams, which should include specialized lab work to detect early signs of disease processes. Dental care at this point in life also becomes even more important. Routine dental exams and cleanings for all pets are great for overall health. Diet and weight gain are important issues as well. When you bring your pet in for a senior wellness visit, we evaluate his or her weight and offer recommendations based on what we see.